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Continued power outages frustrating some residents

November 15, 2012
By John Wickline - Staff Writer ( , The Inter-Mountain

Rosemary Oliver is old enough to know what a broken record sounds like, and she said it is getting old to hear the same message every day.

Oliver's residence on the Eden Road in southern Upshur County lost power when Superstorm Sandy ravaged the area with several inches of snow, and the service has yet to be returned. Since her telephone service returned about a week ago, she has burned up the wires trying to find when the lights will come back on.

"I've called every day," she said. "I've called the Governor's office, the Public Service Commission, (Shelley Moore) Capito's office, and I even called the White House. They gave me FEMA's disaster number."

All of this has been to no avail for her. Oliver said she has heard the same thing over and over and over: "If not tonight, then tomorrow. They're working on it." But the tomorrows have come and gone, along with her patience.

"This is outrageous," Oliver said. "You can get power to Afghanistan and Iraq, but not here. This is America. It's getting frustrating to hear the same thing every day."

Upshur County Office of Emergency Management Public Information Officer Jim Farrell understands Oliver's frustration, as he has also been without power since the storm passed through the area.

More than 500 customers in the county remained without power as of Tuesday, but that number was cut to 69 by Wednesday. Farrell said the wind that blew through the area on Monday made things more difficult for restoration crews, as additional tree limbs fell into the lines.

"The wind made a mess of everything," Farrell said. "Somewhere along the line, somebody has to set down and rethink how these power lines are run."

Despite the loss of electrical service and being snowbound for about a week, Oliver admits to being more fortunate than some. Her freezer was fully stocked in preparation for the storm, and the family has a generator, which she said has been running around the clock since the storm.

"But we're paying about $100 a day for fuel," she said. "But we have to, because, otherwise we would be in dire straits. We were without power for nine days (following the June 29 storm). We're always the last people to get their electric back."



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